SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE – PART III NEEDLES, PINS AND STABILIZERS©

SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
PART 3 – NEEDLES, PINS AND STABILIZERS

OK girls…time to move onto Part 3…
NEEDLES, PINS and STABILIZERS!

NEEDLES
Divide and store your machine sewing needles by size and/or type. In the past, I have used clear divided Tupperware™ storage wedges for my needle storage and labeled the different plastic wedged-shaped containers as follows:

needles.jpg

  • 70/10
  • 80/12
  • 90/14
  • 100/16
  • Specialty – metallic, topstitching, twin needles, etc.

However, since I now buy my needles wholesale by the dozens, I had to get something larger for my needles. I found this larger storage carousel at Staples:

needlestorage1.jpg

Here’s a great article from HGTV on the different types of sewing machine needles.

There are many different clear divided storage containers available to store your new needles:

12 compartment Carousel Storage Wheel

Tupperware 6 wedge Carousel

17 Compartment Storage Box

Plastic Storage Bin Container Tray

Clear Plastic Storage Boxes

Plastic Storage Case

6 Slot Locking Storage Box

Craft Mates Locking Storage Box

Another great idea for new needle storage is to use a small photo album with clear divided pages. You could also use clear trading card dividers and put them in a binder. You could easily find a photo brag book in the Dollar Store!

Check out this Diva one!

Princess Brag Book

Here’s a cute Leather brag book:

Leather Photo Album

Trading card sleeves:

Trading Card Sleeves

More Trading Card Sleeves

USED NEEDLES / NEEDLES IN USE

Use an old-fashioned tomato pin cushion to temporary distinguish the current needle in your machine and your slightly used needles. Using a black marker to divide and mark your tomato into sections:

tomatopincushion.jpg

  • E for Embroidery Needles
  • F for Fine Machine Needles
  • S70, S80, S90 according to the standard sizes you used most often
  • T for Topstitching Needles
  • M for Metallic Needles

Put a bright colored pin in the appropriate space on your tomato pin cushion to hold the place of the current needle in your machine.

Pick up one of these pin cushions at your local craft store or on eBay:

Simplicity Tomato Pin Cushion

Even better yet, Dritz now has a Dresden pincushion!

fonsporterpincushion.gif

Here’s a similar one available online:

Dritz Tomato Pin Cushion

Also check out this GRABBIT Needle Organizer. Just slide a needle into the loop strip next to the appropriate spaces and it stays put. You can also label the blank spaces. It also has an “IN USE” pin marker to easily identify the needle which is currently in your machine:

needlegrabbitmainphoto.jpg

Grabbit Machine Needle Organizer

You might even like this nifty NEEDLETRAK™ by the Quilted Ribbon. You can easily keep track of your needle in your machine by moving the arrow indicators to appropriate needle style and size. It also attaches to your machine:

needletrak.jpg

And if you don’t want to spend the $6 – $10 on the above Needletrak, you can make your own. I found this neat idea from the Moonlight Quilters Organization:

needlecasemoonlight.jpg

To make a needle case similar to the one pictured above:

  • Cut 8” squares of Muslin, Batting AND printed cotton fabric. You should have 3 squares.
  • Use a permanent pen to write the types and sizes of needles you use on the Muslim. (You could also draw your lines on a piece of tear away stabilizer and then just tear it away when you’re finished.)
  • Use black thread to stitch the continuous grid you see in the picture. (Note: I’d cheat by making up a simple embroidery design file in my embroidery customizing program so I can stitch these out for my friends).
  • Stitch a small piece of Velcro to the right side of the printed fabric. (Moonlight Quilter’s directions state to add a small piece of ribbon to sides, but I think the Velcro is a better idea as you don’t have to fuss with the ribbon ties…you just stick it to your machine with the coordinating Velcro piece.)
  • Place the printed fabric and batting right sides together on top of the muslin.
  • Stitch around all sides leaving a 2” space for turning.
  • Clip your corners to reduce bulk prior to turning.
  • Topstitch around all sides.

Presto…you have a neat handmade needle case! However, if you are really lazy, you could always use Velcro dots. Just stick a Velcro dot to the needle case of the needle you have in your sewing machine. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

Here’s something for your HAND NEEDLES…The Colonial NEEDLEPACK:

needlepack.jpg

This compact hand needle organizer with pocket guide for selecting the right needle and thread for your project comes with Colonial English-made hand needles. It has 5 pockets for storing new needles and clear-view slots for separating used needles or for setting up multiple needles for projects. Also includes a set of printed labels included.

Lastly, Fons & Porter now have these needle disposal cases for sale:

fonsneedledisposal.jpg

Is it me or are those totally useless? Why would you spend money of those when you could easily use an empty needle case or a film container? JMHO…

PINS

There are lots of ways to hold your sewing pins.  Try one of these:

grabbit 

Grabbit Magnetic Pincushion

magneticpaperclip

A Magnetic Paper Clip Holder is perfect for holding your regular pins.

wristgrabbit

Wrist Grabbit Wearable Magnetic Pincushion

collinswristpincushion

Collins Wrist Pin Cushion

bowl

Magnetic Bowl

sew_WANderful-lg

Sew Wanderful Magnetic Pin Holder

divapincushion

You can make your own pincushion to match your sewing room.  Here’s a list of tons of pincushion tutorials:

Diva’s List of Pincushion Tutorials

However, if you don’t feel like making own yourself, check out all the handmade pincushions on Etsy.com.

STABILIZERS AND INTERFACINGS

It is very easy to become confused with all the different stabilizers and interfacings available to the home sewer. When I purchase them on small rolls, I mark the cardboard roll and stick the original plastic packaging inside the roll (the instructions are then easy to find). If I purchase stabilizers or interfacings from a bolt, I wrap it with its original instructions.

All stabilizers and interfacings can be stored in a large clear rolling bin (clearly labeled, of course). However, I recently came up with a much better solution….why not use a soda bottle holder or wine rack? Since I gave up soda a few months ago, I was about to throw out my 2 liter soda bottle holder…yet now it holds my stabilizers on a shelf! I wish I had thought of that sooner! No more digging in the big stabilizer box. I still will use the box for large "yardage" of interfacings on bolts. Here’s a photo of my soda/stabilizer holder…

stabilizerholder.jpg

There are many useful ones available on eBay:

Wooden Wine Rack

Metal Wine Rack

Another Wine Rack

and yet another Wine Rack…LOL

and another

last one

You could even use a Plastic Wrap Organizer and mount it to the wall:

Rubbermaid Kitchen Wrap Organizer

Wire Kitchen Wrap Organizer

Think you can handle this challenge? You have 72 hours! Please post your BEFORE and AFTER pictures as soon as you’re finished!

Good luck!

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Comments

  1. That is amazing!!!!! Thanks so much for all the awesome ideas!

  2. Thanks Material Mama! I love your podcast!!!

  3. I love your ideas. Will try the wine rack, i use clear totes and always in the one and it’s amess.
    I keep a roll about drawer unit next to my machine and keep needles, scissors,cutting tools and notins in it. Real handy, but some of your ideas are better especialy the needles. you can find them right away not root.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. I put my used, dull, broken, etc. needles in an empty Tic-Tac container. I always have one setting right with my sewing machines. It is handy and reusing something that would normally get thrown away – Carol

  5. Great idea Carol! Also an Altoids tin would work!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  6. Love these tips…I’m about to start organizing my sewing room “again” LOL. Just wanted to add that Colonial also makes a Machine NeedlePack that has both clear pockets for 8-10 plastic cases of new needles, as well as a labelled chart to insert used needles (tips protected), and to indicate the type and size currently in the machine. I have several machines, so keep one for each machine, clearly labelled on the outside (easy to keep track of what’s in each machine, grab the correct pack to take to class, etc.) It looks very similar to the one for hand needles pictured above, only designed for machine needles. Tri-fold and snaps closed. Love it.

  7. Thanks for the info Joy! Happy Organizing!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  8. Very useful set of articles!
    PS= I wonder if sewing machine needles get blunt when pinned on the pin cushion!

  9. this is incredible, thanks for putting this together!

  10. Helene…pin cushions are meant to have pins stuck in them…LOL!

    My pleasure, Heather! Glad you found it useful!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  11. Patricia Castleberry says:

    I use my empty tin Altoid containers…take an advertising callingcard magnet glue it magnet side up in the bottom of the container to store pins and needles for travel…or used needles

  12. Angela Robicheaux says:

    I’m so glad i found this, i really need this i’m redoing my little space this week. thank you very much.

  13. Thanks for all of the ideas. i am starting to sew again and trying to find a home for my supplies. Small things like needles have been hard to find a home and usually end up in a box, which later takes time to away from sewing to “hunt for them”. Thanks again

  14. muslin. not Muslim
    one is a fabric. the other a religion.

  15. Whoops! Thanks! Correction made!

  16. LOVE the great ideas here! My only question: what are you using the press-n-seal for? ;)

  17. I use Press n Seal as an topper for my machine embroidery. Works great for embroidering ribbons and other small items that need to be held in place.

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